Cirencester RFC v Kingswood RFC
A strong running first half and a battling defensive second half earned Knights an away draw at Cirencester today.
The Knights Under 14’s traveled to new opposition in Cirencester RFC today. A fixture arranged at short notice by our intrepid fixtures secretary Kate Howell was a welcome one after recent weather and challenges with opposition. The fixture survived an early morning pitch inspection that had one or two of our early leavers worried and one or two of our late rising parents hopeful of a lie in. A long early morning drive into the Cotswolds to Cirecester (or ‘Ciren’ to the locals) via Tetbury was a great start to a beautiful sunny day.
As usual we were on the furthest pitch from the comforts of the clubhouse but the weather was excellent and despite a little bit of frost hanging around on the pitch a normal 11am kick off was possible. The pitch was in good condition given the stage of the season.
The Knights had a 17 man squad today and the opposition had around 18 to select from.
Cirencester kicked off – the ball was taken by Dan and recycled well under pressure. The packs looked evenly matched in the early exchanges with great tackles knocking back players on both sides. Cirencester kept the Knights pinned back with some good kicks in the early stages. Ollie took a good kick and returned well with a good side step. James completed a good drive and the rucks were cleared out by Lee and Elliott. The ball was won with a good counter-ruck from Ciren and another good kick had Batu on the wing running backwards. A great recovery on the ground and being sharply back to his feet allowed him to set off on a jinking return from his own 22 that saw him finish up scoring with the flourish of a salmon leap for the Knights first try.
From the restart a good take by Billy and excellent drive from Harrison took the Knights back to half way. Excellent competition in the loose from both teams kept the status quo for a number of minutes. Excellent tackling from Dylan and Josh on the flanks meant that the Knights finally got some great possession with Matt feeding Joe and then releasing Harrison bursting forwards. A good tackle was recycled by Sam to feed Keyan and he broke the line to romp in for a second try from halfway. Harrison was successful with the conversion.
Ciren were not finished though some good kicking and a penalty took them to the brink of the line – a good chase back by Ollie to touch down over his own line resulted in a 5m scrum and the big Ciren pack finally crossed for a try.
A strong run from Sam down the wing and a good clear out by Joe resulted in some more good possession for the Knights. Pressure from the Ciren pack again created a turnover that they again kicked deep a good kick return again from Ollie supported by Josh and Dylan created possession for Mac to feed Joe and Harrison for another strong run. Keyan picked up from the ruck and again broke the line to run clear for a second try on the day.
A great tackle from Bailey on the wing and another great tackle from Lee and Dylan allowed Elliott to break out for a run , but their were no further scores in the first half. With the Knights leading 17-5.
The second half playing up the slight slope was a defensive affair for the Knights who could not clear their half. An early try brought Ciren back to 17-12. The tackling remained exceptional and great defensive work from the back three with Ollie again touching down behind his own line under pressure and Stav returning a kick 40 metres and almost breaking free. The pressure however told and after holding out for 15 minutes the dam finally broke and a final try was scored to level the scores at the death.
A fantastic game of rugby and a fair result for both sides – a game played in good spirits throughout and it will be good to see out new friends from Cirencester for games again next season.
Ollie was named man of the match for a faultless defensive display.
Please let me know if you spot any errors or omissions – Chris 07813000889